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Cooler Heads Will Prevail

Cooler Heads Will Prevail

Most Dodger fans want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  “Everybody sucks, get a new team.  We should have traded for Lee and Halladay.  I knew this would happen, blah, blah, blah.”  Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLa.com puts it all in perspective:

Before you go throwing dirt on a club with a 5½ game lead in it’s division for losing 11 of their last 17 games, let’s look at some other teams in recent years and their worst 17-game stretches:

In other words, it’s sort of like a Mutual Fund “Past performance may not be indicative of future results.”

Does Manny Look Fat?  www.LaDodgerTalk.com

Does Manny Look Fat? www.LaDodgerTalk.com

So, take your Prosac, Jack Daniels or Ex-Lax and “Unlax Doc!”  This too shall pass.    Baseball is a game of steaks.  It’s a long season and there will be bumps in the road, and as the Phillies demonstrated last year, it’s how you finish that counts!   We’ve got about 48 games to go.    Kensai of Memories of Kevin Malone also has a good take on this.

RANTS & RAVES

  • Raffy has did better since the All-Star Break in batting average (.256 before/.286 after) , but his OB % remains nearly the same (.331 before/.333 after).  He is no longer a threat to steal and needs to be moved out of that spot.   Candidates to lead off:  Martin .377 OB%, Kemp .375 OB%, Hudson .362 OB%  It starts at the top.  Juan Pierre was getting on base the 50 games Manny was out.  Raffy is still a good player.  He plays a good SS and he still is a .265 t .275 hitter (it appears) – he’s just not a leadoff hitter anymore.  If he could steal 60 bases, maybe you’d put up with a .333 OB% (maybe not), but as it stands, he’s better at #7 or #8.
  • Mark Loretta is struggling mightily!  I’m sure something on his body hurts.  DL him and call Tony Abreu back.  The fact that he’s a switch-hitter gives us options.    Get ‘er done!
  • For your information, in July and August each year, the Dodger Brass pulls their young minor league pitchers after 3 or 4 innings, so as  to minimize injury on their young arms.  They started this a couple of years ago after some arm problems.  It remains to be seen if this will be successful.  I know that several other organizations are looking at the same thing .
  • If Billingsley isn’t able to go Wednesday, then Scott Elbert has to be the choice.  I think the Dodgers should send Stults and Weaver to AAA tomorrow and recall Wade and Lindblom.  Then bring Weaver back a day or two later.  Rotate those pitchers.
  • James Loney will end up hitting near .300 – mark my words.  A few weeks ago, Blake couldn’t buy a hit Either.  Ditto with Manny – this shall pass!
  • Here’s a good Minor League Recap at ThinkBluLa.com
  • What up with Mota and Troncoso?  Do they need a vacation?  Maybe.
  • Kensai of Memories of Kevin Malone has a good update on some farmhands.
  • Two pitchers the dodgers may be looking at are Smoltz (what would be different than the way he pitched in Boston?) and Padilla (can someone on the Dodgers pull his head out of his butt?).   I’m not impressed with either one.
  • Now, we need to open a can of WhoopAss on the Giants!

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

47 Responses to “Cooler Heads Will Prevail”

  1. Michael says:

    Decided to take the day off, it is National lazy day. I’m sure James will come around, wouldn’t mind seeing him pitch a couple innings some time. Easy to second guess but I thought Joe should’ve given the ball to McDonald to start the 9th. Raffy may not be a great leadoff hitter anymore but it is the only spot he can hit in, he failed miserably in the 8th hole and only started to hit after we had to sit Juan. Wonder if the team is sniping at each other like the blog posters are lately? Isn’t this exciting, sure gets me going.

  2. DRomo says:

    I don’t think it is the end of teh world that we are in a funk right now, but I think if we lay an egg against the Giants we may be in serious trouble. We have been making excuses for the longest time it seems and the truth is you take away our great start 13-0 at home we are only 23-22 at home. That is average at best. Since Manny has returned we are 16-16! Not good!

    The bottom line is we are better than this, but we are getting beat by the good teams and the padding our record against the Reds, Marlins, & Padres of the world. What seems to be lost on this blog is that the best records don’t win championships, the hot teams do. We are far from hot. We have time, but it is getting close to put up or shut up time. The Giants are heating up and what used to be a comfortable lead is shrinking. Don’t be shocked if we are in a dog fight with Colorado and SF for the division by Oct 1st.

    STEP IT UP Blue!!! We can do this!

  3. Knickerbocker Dave says:

    Mark, exactly! the thinking should be “this is a 162game season; doesnt matter which month the wins come.” exhibit A is the 2008 Rockies. I’m convinced this Dodger ship will right itself – if only by the sheer will power and masterful handling of Torre. Bottom line: the dodgers WILL keep winning … at least until they meet the NYYs in the playoffs.

  4. DRomo says:

    Word on the street is Joe had a closed door meeting yesterday.

    “Good teams win games, bad teams have meetings”-Tommy Lasorda

  5. Mark Timmons says:

    I heard they had a meeting Thursday.

  6. Ken says:

    Exactly – It is how you finish that matters. If you burn out the players “HARE” in the beginnning of the year then they will not finish well..2009 Dodgers and 2001 – 2007 Yankees

    Mark – I believe that Weaver is out of options

    Mota and Troncoso = “Sweat” which means overworked

    Loney’s swing is too long and loopy. He was a better hitter when his swing emphasis was on his right elbow.

    Loretta is toast for this year due to the way he has been managed. He needs to go the a lesser team that will allow him to start twice a week.

    Padilla needs padding on the walls of his room.

  7. Ken says:

    Steve Lyons has appropriate criticisms of the Dodger players and coaches during his radio and post game interviews. Frank will probably fire him. Even Lyons would be a better bench coach then that old man who just walks around telling dirty jokes in the clubhouse. Just my opinion.

  8. T says:

    Loretta has been pretty bad after a nice opening week of the season. Why is he on the team? No power and he can’t hit anymore. I agree. Bring Abreu up or bring someone up who can actually hit off the bench. Mientkiewicz can’t throw but how often does a 1B need to throw? I’m sure he could hit better than Loretta right now.

  9. lawdog says:

    White said the Dodgers also plan to check out left-hander Aroldis Chapman, who is in Spain after defecting from the Cuban national team in July. Chapman, 21, is a two-time Cuban league strikeout champion whose fastball was clocked at 102 mph during the second WBC last spring.

    Can Chapman throw a slider or a change up for a strike? If so, sign him up yesterday!

  10. Mark Timmons says:

    You can bet that about 23 other scouts are there too…

  11. DRomo says:

    Mark or anyone,

    What do you make of the cryptic coments made by Torre the other day about pitching? Was he talking about who was starting Sundays game or are they maybe looking at adding a player? It will be hard to add a guy via the waiver wire because of our record.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/08/dodgers-move-in-the-works.html

  12. Blue Haze says:

    Will be at the game tonight in SF. Time for Sanchez to return to earth, look for the Dodgers to bust out, Manny should have a good series, he usually performs better when the boos are loudest, which they will be tonight.

  13. Knickerbocker Dave says:

    here a plan for the dodgers to consider:
    1) get rid of the owner and GM
    2) have team purchased by the Steinbrenners and hire Cashman as GM
    3) change name to “NY Yankees of Los Angeles”

    when both Yankee teams get to World Series, let George flip coin to decide who should win
    - Perfect!

  14. lawdog says:

    Maybe all Manny needs to do is check out some film on his swing–before and after the suspension. To my eye, his swing is ever so slightly longer now than it was before. Not Andruw Jones length, but just enough to make a swing that used to drive the ball out of the park to all fields (depending on where the pitch is) to one that is a swing and miss a lot of the time because it’s slightly “slower” than Manny is used to swinging. It also makes him swing over a good change up on the outside corner.

    Maybe it’s just my imagination, or the result of seeing doubt in Manny’s eyes after he’s struck out where there was nothing but confidence before, but I am worried. Here’s hoping he busts out tonight just when we need him like he did last year.

    • Ken says:

      When every batter concentrates on hitting to all fields they are much better. When Manny hits to right field he can hit to any field.

  15. DRomo says:

    Knickerbocker Dave That is twice you have referenced your love for the Yankees. Maybe you are on the wrong site?

    Our GM and Manager aren’t the problem here. They are still the same guys who put together the team that was outperforming the entire MLB earlier this season. The players need to step up! Besides for a Yankee lover do we have to bring up the bad GM decisions NY has made? Is Cashman such a genius? He took over Watsons team and steadily destroyed it after gravy training a few rings.

    New York guys are all the same.

  16. Mark Timmons says:

    On Torre’s comments:

    They could mean anything…

  17. Kay in L.A. says:

    Fun blog. I like your writing, Mark. Okay. Let’s trade all the Dodgers for the Isotopes. Just kidding!

    Loney’s my favorite Dodger. I feel his pain right now. This is a terrific, exciting, never-say-die team. Billingsley and Kershaw look promising. Vinnie was quoted as saying the Dodgers never do it the easy way. Tell me about it!!

    I also appreciate Steve Lyons’s post-game commentary, confirmed some of my observations.

    Blue Haze, be careful rooting for our guys in S.F.!!

    lawdog, don’t worry about Manny and hope you are on to something re the Cuban pitcher!!

  18. Knickerbocker Dave says:

    DR – i’m just keeping it light. not everyone can be as intense as you & mark. Lets not over analyze the traditional dog days that every team has to slog through. i do not believe the first half was an abberation. it will pick back up. But seriously; 16-16 since ManRam’s return? is that coincidence or does this match his penchant for disrupting teams from the inside?

  19. Knickerbocker Dave says:

    Mark, what are you hearing about the Dodger’s interest in this other Cuban pitching phenom? – Luis Tiant? lots of buzz or his stuff. Supposed to be dynamite. he could really make the difference in Sept/Oct.

  20. Badger says:

    Some of us knew this was going to happen. It was predictable and in fact predicted.

    This team is being tested. Anyone who thought this pitching staff was going to make it to the finish line was living in fantasyland. Anyone who believed we would continue to hit all year the way were early was being naive. It is in the final drive we see who can stay focused and remain cool and calm. Now we see who steps up and who folds.

    There is no doubt about the talent level of the ’09 Dodgers. Right through the lineup we have capable players. We know they played well when other teams were not. Other teams are catching up. Now we see who wants it more.

    I saw the Giants up close and personal and I can tell you without equivocation they have some serious talent there. Their pitching is better than ours, always was, but their on field players are not as good as ours. The difference is going to be, who wants it more. Those guys up in the Bay Area want nothing more than to show the $100 million Los Angeles Dodgers that they can beat them.

    We have known we needed another starter for some time now. What was done to address this need? Who do they have in mind for the stretch drive?

    It’s going to be fun to watch.

  21. Badger says:

    This is interesting – in 4 of 5 series’ (including Atlanta) we play against the best pitching staffs in baseball. Our only break is Arizona, and they have a few good starters.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable_team_stats.jsp?c_id=mlb&baseballScope=mlb&statType=2&sitSplit=&timeSubFrame=2009&groupByTeam=true&Submit=Submit&timeFrame=1

  22. Michael says:

    I didn’t catch Steve Lyons comments, wish I had. If he wasn’t critical of the hand that feeds him, he should sleep well. Bronson Arroyo has cleared waivers. Haze wear a batting helmet so the battery chuckers don’t ding your dome. This is without a doubt, thee best Dodger site with all the knowledgable posters and forum here, thanks Mark, there is no place like it. P.S. I noticed Kay posting earlier, we could use a few good women around here. [no offense intended, if I just put my foot in my mouth}

  23. Kay in L.A. says:

    Hmmm… Any other ladies lurking?

    Michael, Steve L. said Torre is the best “babysitter” in baseball, haha. Of million dollar babies, that is. I guess Joe was never in the military, huh.

    Steve also commented re Dodgers taking the first pitch in late innings when they are a few runs down. Time after time, it is a strike, so…??

    • Ken says:

      Yes all of those pitches that are right down the middle and can be hit like a ball on a Tee – Donnie T-Ball

  24. Bill Russell says:

    The last time I went to a Dodger/Giant game in SF, I made the mistake of wearing a Dodger hat into the game. The guy taking the tickets was saying “No bottles, No Cans, No Dodger Fans”. Then after finding my seat, the dunken fool behind me had to scream in my ear and clap in my ear every chance he got. I was debating between throwing blows or moving so I opt’ed for the later and sat in front of some other idiots who acted like they bump my hat off my head by mistake. I opt’ed to move again, this time removing the hat from my head. So if fighting in SF is you game Haze, just represent the Dodgers. I always respect fans rooting for the other team in LA as long as they don’t get to crazy with putting down the Dodgers.

    The team is in a mini funk with many games to play. As long as we are at the top of our game again by the second week in September and we are still in the playoffs, we will be fine.

    GO BLUE

  25. Badger says:

    I went to the Division clincher in S.F. a couple of years ago and wore my Dodger jersey under another shirt. The place was filled with Dodger fans, so no problem taking the top layer off.

    However, S.F. is one of the rudest towns for visiting teams I have ever been to. I would not wear blue in that place. I have seen too many drunken idiots throwing peanuts, screaming obscenities, I even saw a beer being poured on a blue hat. No way would I push it there. One night I had to step in between a 300 pound drunk and a nice couple from Minnesota wearing Twins hats. The Twins for crying out loud. I kept the drunken gorilla occupied long enough for them to escape. I told him to go ahead and take his frustrations out on me then my team of lawyers would take out their frustrations on him. While he paused to reflect on the comment, I beat feet. Be careful Haze. The hate for the Dodgers is real in that place.

    It that is what Lyons said, I agree with him. Torre has managed the moodiest egomaniacal babies in the game. I am sure the Dodgers are a piece of cake compared to the Spankees.

  26. Bill Russell says:

    The White Sox was the team that claimed Alex Rios. They just took over his contract and gave up nothing. This is kinda surprising to me. Alex could be a very good player for the Sox.

  27. DRomo says:

    Alex is very good. Better than what he is playing like this year. Great deal for the ChiSox. His contract is big but not too big.

    Do we take a shot at Arroyo? Harrang cleared too. Neither guy is stellar but they are solid major league pitchers. Arroyo has been there before and performed well in the post season. I have always like Harrang though. He will never light up a boxscore but I think he is capable of breaking out in another setting.

  28. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “New York guys are all the same.”

    NO, WE’RE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO DODGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. DodgersAllTheWay says:

    No need to throw dirt on the Dodgers. This is a tough patch in their schedule and I agree that every championship team has some losing streaks. They will hold it together in August and they have a cupcake schedule in September with only 6 games against SF with the rest against teams with losing records.

    How did heck the 2008 Phillies have 3 5-12 streaks (36 losses), 7 6-11 streaks (77 loses) and eight 7-10 streaks (80 losses)? That would be 183 losses.

  30. Bill Russell says:

    Glad to see someone finally check Marks numbers. I always just scan over them. LOL You got some splanin to do

  31. SpokaneBob says:

    LA Kay, nice to have you here.

    The nexts two months will be tough. But if we can come through it ok, it will make us a better team for the post season.

    16 and 16 since Manny got back. The way he has been hitting it’s no wonder.

    I think Lyons thoughts about taking the first pitch is correct. Maybe we take working the count to such an extream that opposing pitchers are taking advantage of it.

    Giant fans are for the most part ….jerks.

  32. Michael says:

    Our hitters are getting outthunk by opposing pitchers.This is why you should never be thinkin at the plate. I’m sure Yogi said something to this effect.

  33. Mark Timmons says:

    Dodgersalltheway asked:

    “How did heck the 2008 Phillies have 3 5-12 streaks (36 losses), 7 6-11 streaks (77 loses) and eight 7-10 streaks (80 losses)? That would be 183 losses.”

    Answer:

    It’s simple, win a couple of games and the streak continues. It is not cumulative, but the streaks were real. In other words, in a 7-10 streak, you could start out with 7 wins, then get 12 loosses, then get 1 win,and 1 loss and you would have a 6-11 streak. The streaks do not add up to the total number of games.

    The Dodgers are 16-16 since Manny returned, but they are 4-6 in their last 10 games. That doesn’t mean they have played 42 games since the break. You don’t add the streaks together.

    Duh!

  34. Mark Timmons says:

    Kay,

    Welcome. A woman’s perspective is always appreciated.

    If anyone give you a hard time, let me know. I’ll work them over for you.

    ;)

  35. Michael says:

    I was wondering why Joe had ODog hitting before the Animal. Guess that’s why. Is Joe smart or what?

  36. Badger says:

    Yeah, and that Loretta kid can really hit. 2 for 2 with an RBI!

    and I cut him yesterday…….

    aye Kuroda….

    come on pitching. Keep getting outs.

  37. Mark Timmons says:

    Joe must be psychic!

    Psycho?

  38. Bill Russell says:

    Mark, In other words the numbers are a bunch of crap. It makes no sense to me either if you keep counting the same numbers diffent ways. But I’m just a fan and not a bean counter.
    And why do you have to end the answer with Duh?

    Are you Mark or Howard Stern?

  39. Bill Russell says:

    EDit

  40. SteveM says:

    1st, why would any Dodger fan (if he – or she’s “True Blue”) want to spend their hard-earned money at the enemy’s ballpark. I live 2 hours from San Diego and never will I ever spend a nickel in that dump. Save your cash for Chavez Ravine.

    2nd, I like that finally some sanity has been restored to this site. I guess some of you looked up and saw the sky hadn’t fallen. If you had given me a choice before the season started where I would want to be at this point of the season, 5.5 games up or 5.5 games down…DUH! Check the standings, we’re 5.5 games UP! – and even we get swept by the Gnats, we’re still in 1st place.

    This teams best moments are still to come – MARK MY WORDS. I’ve been saying this for longer than I can remember: this group of youngsters is just beginning a 5-7 year run with 2-4 WS rings. The keys to everything, as it always is, is health (will Joe T ruin the pitching staff long-term?) and patience (will Ol Ned let the kids play?), I reiterate again.

    Finally, don’t canonize Steve Lyon just because he plays to your negativity. This is a guy that was run from Fox for being TOO scandalous(!) and is on record as saying he’s just passing time here until something better comes along. Great, Steve – this job that was good enough for Vin freakin Scully for 50 freakin years is just a temp job for you. Choke on a Dodger Dog you d_____.

  41. Mark Timmons says:

    Billy,

    Let me simplify it for you.

    If you lose 5 games in row and then lose 10 you have a 5-10 streak. You also have lost 10 in a row, so have you played 15 games or 25 games? You only have 15 games, but you have a streak of 5-10 and a streak of 0-10. Just because those numbers add up to 25, doesn’t mean you have played 25 games.

    Duh?

    Because if you don’t get it you are thinking too hard.

    Ease up. I didn’t research it. Eric Stephen of TrueBluLa did, but I am certain it is correct.

  42. Bill Russell says:

    LOL pass the buck my friend…. The Dodgers need this win tonight. Can Hiroki hold up? I like the lineup with Manny hitting 4th.

  43. Mark Timmons says:

    Joe finally listened!

    … at least to part of what I said!

    ;)

  44. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    When is Torre going to learn that with runners on first and second and no outs, you DON’T bunt with a good hitter who is not accustomed to bunting? And although he’s not having a wonderful year, Russell Martin is still a pretty good hitter. It hasn’t worked before, and it didn’t work tonight. Thankfully, the Dodgers won anyway. A tack on run or two in the top of the ninth would have made this victory a lot easier. As it was, the game ended with the tying run at the plate in the person of a hitter with power.

    Broxton is still looking a bit shaky. He’s not only having problems finding the strike zone, but it appears as if he’s having difficulty with his slider. I suspect the toe is still an issue.

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